Murder plotter seeks new hospital

2012-04-12 08:50

Cape Town - An elderly woman committed to a state psychiatric institution after allegedly attempting to murder a bridge partner's wife, has applied to be moved to a private institution, the Wynberg Regional Court heard on Wednesday.

The matter was postponed to June 25 to allow the court time to assess the review proceedings.

Sophia de Villiers, 76, reportedly became besotted with a man she played bridge with following her divorce. She allegedly hired an assassin to kill the man's wife.

The wife survived being stabbed seven times. De Villiers was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Following psychiatric assessment, De Villiers was declared unfit to stand trial as she did not understand the consequences of her actions.

She was declared a State President's patient and committed to the Lentegeur state psychiatric hospital for the rest of her life by magistrate Carel Meyer.

Defence attorney William Booth told the court he had launched review proceedings with the Western Cape High Court to overturn the Wynberg Regional Court's order that De Villiers be kept at a state institution. This was so De Villiers could be moved to a private facility. He said the state opposed the review proceedings, but had not yet filed papers with the high court.